>> writing is a transactional process. writing assumes reading. it goes back to the question about a tree falling in the force if there's no there to hear it. you come if you written a really wonderful novel and one of the parts of the process is that you want readers to be enlarged and enriched by it, and you have to pull on everything at your disposal to get. >> author anna quindlen will talk about her perspectives on writing and life cluster guide to social policy and the politics that make it happen live sunday on in depth.
she will be ready for calls, tweets and e-mails starting at noon eastern on booktv's "in depth" on c-span2. >> author brad meltzer presents a collection of women and some men throughout history that he believes his daughter than one can look up to and derive strength from. he profiles a range of historical figures, from astronaut sally ride to civil rights leader rosa parks, and aviator amelia earhart. this is about 45 minutes. >> i am not brad meltzer. [laughter] i am brad meltzer's daughter. you have probably all read "heroes for my daughter." i know you have read heroes for my son. now the person who wrote those two awesome books, the best dad in the world, brad meltzer. [applause]
the kid writes her own material. you think i'm joking. so the most important things first, and simply to say thank you. thank you to mitchell kaplan. i traveled the country to bookstores. that's what you. that's my job. i talk to imagine the people and i traveled the country to bookstores. bookstores. i say to you as, books & books is the best bookstore in the country. i say that because it's true. i don't say because i know mitchell. i don't say it because i love him and his part of our family for so long. it just is a fact. it's not a penny. that's a fact. anyone who argues with you is just wrong. i also want to thank of course my family because this becomes a very, as mitch said, a bittersweet moment. this is the first event that my dad is not epic the last time we're there was an event my mom was not at. we've been through a lot applause. i lost my grandmother also who i
will talk about. this event with no doubt was dedicated to him. there was no question. he was always a guy, the one thing you will notice it's much more quiet. people are listening. i dad was always in the back trying to sell the more books. trying to tell them where to get a good sandwich. so played a vital and the bookselling circuit, but we miss him, i miss him every day. them anyways this book as i was losing then became a search for new heroes and maybe also more than anything appreciate the heroes that were already in my life. and, of course, need to thank the heroes who have been there for me as i was losing parts of my family, the family that does remain. bobby, dale and amy and adam and my nieces and nephews, and adam are incredible. they have saved me in more ways than you know. of course, my own family.
there are no books without them. and, of course, my favorite deal, i'm going to see far less, but that is my wife. i love you, you're here tonight. [applause] sso so "heroes for my daughter" was born on the night my daughter was born, sixers ago on the night my daughter was born i decided to read book that would last her whole life. she will indeed think i am the greatest father of all time when she sees the wisdom i presented to her. i had a great plan. is going to be spectacular. it was the perfect blend. the truth was i didn't know anything about being a debt. i just love my daughter, that tony. and i wrote, the day i came home from hospital i wrote down rules for to live i. just as i done with my son. i wrote that she should love god, be nice to the kids in class. i wrote a look of rules for her to live by the end i had done
something similar with "heroes for my son." my daughter has been asking questions, where's my book? where is my book? let's go. you think i'm joking but she was worse than my own editor. she was on me every single they want to know where the book was. and i started with looking at heroes like sally ride, therefore no sally ride, the first to melt america astronaut in space, and the question was why did they pick a sally ride? why did she, why did nasa pick her? some say it's because she's a genius of physics. other states because she's a great athlete. she's a great can split. some say just because she was fearless. those are all true but here's what's also true. she had to see an ad in a college newspaper in answer. she had to sit opportunity and she had to seize. that's why they picked a sally ride. that's the kind of hero i want my daughter. so much you can learn that lesson from and see how you get
to do what no one has ever done before. that's why "heroes for my daughter" was reported i don't want to give her poker rules. i want to give my daughter a book of euros. i want to give heroes like rosa parks, christopher reeve, he runs like marie curie. smart, intelligent, self-reliant he was. that was the key and that's what the book began. i thought this can be very much like my son's book. i had more men and my son's book, a few women. in her book i had more women and a few mentor i thought to myself it's going to be exactly the same. i treat my kids equally. that's the kind that i am am. a perfect one. and the truth was as i handed the book in a thought they were exactly the same. the editors is we have a problem. what is a? you use one word over and over and over again. in every description and every hero. she said what's the word? fighter. use the word fighter and over a dozen hero interest.
shows a couple things, one, my lack of command of the english-language, right? i was like i change it up here. here i said she fights, so that's different. but the truth was it shows you two things. i'm overprotective of my daughter. i am. in ways i didn't know about but, of course, they. my daughter is used to jumping into goal. when she would sink to the bottom and then pop up and she would say i'm okay, we would laugh at the. that was a catchphrase and she would say i'm okay. it took me a longtime trellis the reason the reason she gets saying i'm okay is because i kept saying are you okay? that's what i kept going. i was always overprotective, always worried about a dad. but here's what i don't apologize for. i want our children how to fight. i want her to know that the gc something you what you have to fight for.
if you see in just a check to fight harder than you ever thought before. i will never apologize for the. i tell her, lia, do not be the princess who was waiting for the prince to say the. you can save yourself. this book, it is an example of that. it is an example field for people who prove it. rosa parks, ann -- amelia earha, people you know. randy pausch, the story that isn't book, i don't think anyone knows because is told by jeff. when he wrote the book, the last lecture, he cowrote with my dear friend jeff, and he passed away a few months ago. i think, i hope i can on him to do in my hometown by passing a long history. i said you were so close. you wrote the last lecture with in any tell me is when the windows, no one has ever before? he told me this. he said randy bausch on the days
before he died, he wasn't doing the talk show circuit. he had one rule. he spent with his family. he was with his young son, right after he died from his young son came to his father's friend and said, is cancer solvable? his father's friend said no. your dad died from pancreatic cancer. there is that you. you to tell his son was upset and he said why? dillon said my dad told me i have it within me to solve problems. but this is why randy is so important. he is so important because i found out that last summer young government to capitol hill to lobby for been created cancer research. so is fantastic when millions hear your message and want you to figure. but is more violent than one person acts on it. and i love that he is proof of the. that is what randy pausch is proof of today. that are also heroes, and again i say this is a book not about famous people. it's about what we are all capable of. we are all brave and we are all
cowards. we are all strong, all week, and we are all can act the andre stolz. sometimes we do all those things in the same exact day. the book is also for with people you've never heard of. there's a young girl named alex scott is in the book. alex scott before she was a year-old she was diagnosed with cancer. the only life she knew. chemotherapy and surgery and hospitals. when she was four years old she said her parents she wanted to open a eliminate side in the front chart. not to buy any toys, she wanted to give the money to help with cancer but with the passionate with a single day she raised $2000. then she set a new goal, here's what i love best. suddenly of eliminate start popping up all with alex's name on. she sets this new goal. she said let's raise $1 million. hundred eliminate stands open up in every state in the country.
ordinary people selling water and sugar and lemons to help kids with cancer. nearly two months later our guys. she's eight years old. while her parents told her inspect before she dies, she said the new goal. she says let's raise $5 million. to this day alex is lemonade stands have raised over $45 million, and it's still going strong, right? i love that. one girl, one idea, one big dream. that is a hero for my daughter. you better believe she's in this book. i want her in here. to me, i love that fact. to me that's the most important part of those regular hero's. famous people are great but i tell my son and my daughter all the time, do you know what it means to be a famous athlete? nothing but it just means you're good at sports. so i love celebrating in this book, there are famous people but people universal. i feel like because i've in miami there is one have to single out. it is my teacher, sheila spicer.
my ninth grade english teacher. i know that their people i can see in this room who i know had sheila spicer. i know they are here. sheila spicer was the first person who ever told i can write. think for a moment of the person who changes your life. sheila spicer changed my life. she said you can write. you know which are doing but she tried to put me in on his class and change me into the honors class but i haven't conflict she couldn't switch. she said you'll see in this corner the entire year, ignore everything i do, you'll see in the corner and do the honors were. what she was saying to me was you will thank me later. that's exactly what i did. 12 years later, a decade later when my first novel was published, i went out and i would her classroom in junior high school and i knocked on the door and i said to her. she said can i help you? she didn't recognize the. the last time i had a full head of hair.
i wrote this book and is for you. i handed her this book and she's quite. i said why are you crying? she said i was going to retire this year because i didn't think i was having an impact in the. i said are you kidding? we have one teacher. she had no idea of her impact on my life. here's the best part. this part isn't in the book. last summer she retired, and as a surprise i want to surprise her to think this will be changed my life. i went to her retirement party to surprise her. i should do. i was a surprise them back. it's a scary moment but when you go back. thing for a moment. when you go back to something as great when you're younger, you're risking derisking the entire memory. you are ready to risk the foundations of the entire memory. when you go to a restaurant when you level your kid and you go back, this restaurant stocks. [laughter] this is a really terrible place. it's just a memory that is good so you risk it all. i was terrified to go back. what if i go there and she's not
as inspirational as remember? what issues not as great as i remember? the whole memory is gone. i go back to her retirement party and i am. it's like the teachers lounge, the teachers with a long cigarettes and they're tired committee friday, they want to go home. they are there to pay their tribute to the teachers are retiring. they give her this really beautiful nice thing to give. all she has to do is go up there and say thank you very much. i love you, i hate have a you but i love the other half of you and that's all she has to do. antitank and retire, quietly. my teacher ms. spicer, goes up in front of this group of teachers for my junior high school and said, you know, all of you who complain that it's harder now, that the kids are different, if so much harder to get through to them, you're all getting lazy and old. do not give up on these kids. don't give up on any of them. she gives the rousing speech like its patent and we will storm the beaches. i'm ready. i'm signing up to be a teacher.
screw this writing thing. i'm ready to teach next year. it was so amazing. now i know why this woman is my true. that's a great moment. to those people who you think, when you think to yourself who's the person who gave me my first shot, that person who gave you your first job who told you, you were good at something for the first time, that person was a giant in your life. but here's the news. you are now that person. you all have the power to go out and do that for someone else. you have the power to go out and say good job. you did a great job at this. that changes their lives in ways you'll never know. if you don't use that power, time fades and your power fades with the. so please go use that power. if i can ask of you one thing, think of that person the mine was ms. spicer. think the person who gave you first do. go and thank you. that's all i ask. go on facebook, find them on facebook, whatever you can do. find them and thank them. you will never believe how much
it will mean to the. that is an amazing power. you don't have to raise 45 main dollars amendment and eliminate sales to change the world. all you have to do is be kind to one person. that's a you get to be the hero. beyond that a couple other stores i do want to tell because i felt like in the miami crowd i want to tell it personal story. and tell you why these stories are personal. the other heroes you will see are the heroes of united flight 93. i'm one of those people, i lived in washington when 9/11 happened and i will say i usually don't like what i see 9/11 being used to do so but these things because it feels like a manipulation. when i came to i was like who do we thank, who do we make the hero's in "heroes for my daughter" well is putting it together. i can make it to people who are the firefighters. a woman gave me a picture of her brother and said never forgetting. i keep his picture on my desk that he would be the perfect
person that i should celebrate. that i think of people like tom. a dear friend of ours who died in the pentagon flight. all these years later before. we forget about those heroes. people had to move forward after it happen. i couldn't escape united flight 93. i owe them personally. i was living in washington, d.c. on 9/11, and my wife on that morning, right now if you look at the flight, no one will say what was going, what is going to hit the white house are going to the capital. but if you look would ask up with a plaque to honor those heroes, the plaque is in a couple. to me that means one thing. is going to the capital. that's the claims country on on the morning of 9/11 governor forgett because my wife was driving to work after job at the united states capital. she was nine months pregnant with her first child. i'm not saying the plane was going to come down and land on my wife's car if it made to
washington, d.c. but i will promise you if it hit there, i have a feeling that my life could have easily been profoundly different today. i own those men and women person forever. so you better believe they are in this book. i owe them for that. a couple more heroes. last two. they are both personal. this book came out when they told me they announce the date of publication i'm still because it was my grandmothers birthday. she's one of the last heroes in your. dorothy rubin is in this book because she raised me. she helped raise me, which i love her for. but what she's in this book for is when my grandmother, when she lost her husband, my family situated ago on. she will never be able to go on. she went on for over 20 years. and she went blind and they situate never go on. she is blind a. she went on. then she went deaf and they said she will never go on. i said go on national i would scream in her air, how you
doing? and she said i'm fine, dark and i can't complain. are you kidding? you a jewish grandmother, all you're supposed to do is complain. you're a professional. that's what you're supposed to do. that's what we do. we are better than anyone. right? that's what our major is in college, complaining. we are the greatest ad. but she never did. you people would look at her and say she has nothing. she's blind and deaf and she is a widow. but to her she had everything. because she had her family. when she would show up she was out everything, they are right to. think of the things their lives that we complain about. things we moan about. and i love that my grandmother always put in perspective for me. that was her best legacy for me. i will tell you that the best euro for you in this book is on the last page, because the last pages are blowing. they say your heroes photo here and your story is a. take a picture of your mother or grandmother or an military
member of your family. you put the picture on this book. you write one sense of what they've done for you, whether it is a teacher or a coworker or anyone. that will be the most important euro in "heroes for my daughter." and that's the way it should be. that should be the best page. for me though, the last page is one of my heroes. i have a special guest to introduce that he would to you. now, i want to be very clear. when you go to dan brown book signing, he doesn't bring leonardo da vinci. when you come to book signing of "heroes for my daughter," i brought my daughter with the i want to into tissue to my daughter, lia. to she comes. [applause] are you ready? do you want to hold it?
>> she's the most important hero in your. my mom. when she was in fourth grade, the category five hurricane hit the dominican republic. she was only nine years old, but transfix heard the people were suffering. some people wrote checks, others made personal donations. my mothers solution, she started a club to collect canned goods. soon they were running a schoolwide food drive. even in fourth grade, she was smart. the more people she involved, the more people she could help. [applause] >> and here's the end of the story that i will add a sense of this as i love that story. i love because all these years later, one of your mother's favorite expression is this. people don't change.
she's actually wrong. your mother changed me. but when it comes to herself, here's what never change. from high school to harvard to being a lawyer for the house judiciary committee, to her work for inner-city schools with cities come your mother has always loved to pick a good fight. it's always, always the same fight. a fight with someone else. best of all there's no one not on this entire planet do everything the device the way she fights for you. she always will. you have a strong mother, lia, it will make you a strong woman. [applause] >> again, dan brown does not bring da vinci. i have one of the guest. i have golda meir year is coming up. [laughter] let me also take something, that joke doesn't work in virginia, right? in virginia they like old a mightier? we have the jews. and my and and we are ready. that joke kills.
i could've said helen keller, but golda meir kills in miami. i love the. so with that said, what i would love to do is open up to questions. i appreciate you coming and i will close after but what i promise what we do is a couple of question. you can ask about the thrills, ask about "heroes for my son" or "heroes for my daughter." [inaudible] >> what am i telling been? >> the great story you told spent all, what happen. i don't even know my own stores. thank you. that was awesome the kids would have. last books i come tonight to go, one of my heroes, is christopher reeve. christopher reeve is one of my heroes because, not because he played superman. to me the most important part of the story is not superman. the most important part of the
story is clark kent. do you want to know why? because we are all clark clinton we all know what it's like to be born inordinate and which would do something incredibly undersell. the news is we all can do incredibly undersell the christopher reeve is proof of the. he's a hero after he became paralyzed. the hero who my daughter introduced tonight it was christopher reid's daughter. his daughter came up and read the entry for her father. what i love the most, beyond sink and here's one my heroes in a book called "heroes for my daughter." my daughter introduces his daughter and she read the answer for what we're taking the pictures of the book, we are picking the one for christopher reeve. i want to show you very quickly what christoer reeves enter is. we were debating can we get things we put them in a superman costume? shouldn't put them in a wheelchair? how do we shall christopher reeve to people. what is his lasting legacy?
how she would portray him to the picture we put, you can see, is this one in a wheelchair. let me hold this up for a second. the picture that we picked for him shows him in his wheelchair. what alexandra said, and i struggled with this, this is how he needs to be remembered not because he wore the costume and worse under on the outside of his pants, which i will do on hollowing on occasion, but she said to me, this picture is one of my favorites of my father. the reason is because it was taken at the democratic national convention, which i've no idea. i picked it because i love the. this was the moment when he realized he needed to make the transition from actor to an activist. you can see it happening in this picture. that's the picture we picked. of course, i said that everything went as that was going to be straight daniel because we would never their to explain the. thank you for reminding of that. other questions?
>> how do you go about choosing your heroes? >> how do you go about choosing my shoes, not the famous ones. to me, what i love is that there are so many heroes. people asking all the time, tell me why this famous person is a true. to me, they are not that the best euros off the ones you live with. we did a poll. to me, what i hope this book is if nothing else, is, it helps us redefine, or i say refocus on what we should be focused on. i think if you look at heroes in the country, it tells the history of the united states. if you look back at the great depression, they heroes who were famous for flash gordon, tarzan, characters designed to transport is also. people were depressed. that's what they call it the great depression. basically what they wanted was people want to be in the 21st century. they want to be in the jungle, away from the own lives. in world war ii, sergeant croce
on our shores, and who comes and who's the biggest character? superman. we are a country that is scared and terrified. it comes superman two things. after 9/11, when people say will never love again, do you member the first movie that broke through the public consciousness? it was spiderman. if you look at all the superhero movies, they're making over $190 a pop. why? because we are a country starving for hero's. we are starving for the. if you look at the last presidential election, look at obama versus mccain. that alone. one of the guys is the great hope to have of america. the other thought the bad guys with his bare hands. we were looking for saviors, somebody can say with. look at the country now. we are still starving for heroes. we still haven't found them. so to me when that happens, you see these things continue. we always say people focus on
heuristic all you have to do is look at your own family. look at the people who did things for good on our website people, it's a bit that he restless. do know who my favorite heroes are in the number strike it over and over is my mom and my dad or my grandmother or my grandfather art two, three jobs so i could go to college but i'm the first in my family to go to college to i could never have went if it wasn't for what might dutch cyclist when. i'm the first in my family in my immediate failed to go to college. and i know my dead killed himself and my mom killed herself to go and make sure that i could take him. supposed to be are the best use. that's how i picked them if you want to how he picked them, it's the supreme court definition of pornography. you know it when you see. that's the rule. you know when you see it. yes. >> we are representatives of
fellow chargers. >> i love the chargers, yes. >> our daughter is get a to graduate from high school. [inaudible] it says all the things we want to say. my question to you is, what advice or what statements would you make to your own daughter at the point where she is really ready to go offense start her own life? >> no pressure. i'm just going to raise your daughter now. [laughter] here's the question. the question is, a present for someone who is graduating and wants to do what advice i would give her because it has so many wonderful things so what's the best advice. she said what advice would you give my daughter. and i gave my don't this advice because when i got the first
copy of the book, the very first copy, lila knows this. i wrote a special note in it for her. one of the things i wrote to her, as i said, lila, this book will change over time. it would change always. every book in fact does the same thing. they change over time. but this book especially because whatever your and your wife that are answers in this book. there are answers not from me but from the sea was. and another of people who buy this for the young dogs and people applied for people graduate from college. a pastor said to me even if don't have books via choose to be inspired. it's because of these heroes. it's because of rosa parks and amelia earhart. amelia earhart is in this book not because she disappeared. why do we all know her? because she disappeared. the mystery is so awesome. we love the and we love that she was the first to break these records. i love that. but, you know, what i love more than any of that nonsense? amelia earhart wasn't a natural part of the she was a natural
great and if she had to work at it harder than anyone. she worked as a sonographer come as a photographer, anything to save money for flying lessons and to by that time. when she bought it it was a bright yellow plane she called canary. she had to work harder than anyone. i love the. as for what i would say, to my daughter is what i say do everything but when i tuck her into bed. i say to her, you want to say it? [inaudible] [laughter] spent everyone is a volunteer. ready? said it. green bay, work hard, stay humble. that's it. that's it. green bay, work hard, stay humble. you can get all the words you want but i think those present for me. i stole the idea from a friend of mine. i love it to this day. other questions? yes. >> are you playing to go back
and right -- [inaudible] >> the question is are you going to write more comic books. usually, i'm disappointed, the comic book readers always ask the first question, right? we don't want to read for anything else but we want to be right. i write superman and batman and ever and one woman and that's what i said i'll sometimes women under on the outside of my pants. and i love these he was. i love these superheroes. i write thrillers also but i love these heroes. i just did buffy the vampire slayer which was a thrill to work on. but right now there are no plans to write anyone did because i'm working on the next novel. decoded them we're we are waiting. waiting for the next novel become out in january is called the fifth assassin. i am three quarters through working on now. they're putting together the cover. it will be out very soon. so those are the plans for the
future. a couple more questions. >> could you let us know any ideas of what you're working on? you are able to show a lot of things, hole back left things like, for instance, mount rushmore. i had no clue of the back story. could you tell us which are working on? >> the question is on decoded, what are the new topics, like mount rushmore and listen, went to mount rushmore and we showed people the secret hidden room that is hidden behind abraham lincoln said. that is an awesome outdoor -- the show is called brad meltzer's decoded. that's the best title of all time. what i said to my wife, what do we having for brad meltzer finish i? yesterday we brad meltzer chicken. she said you can go sleep on
brad meltzer's couch. [laughter] by the truth was, i love when we do the coda. i love we get to go to mount rushmore and find the hidden room that is not abraham lincoln said. you will never, no one will ever look at mount rushmore the same way again. i would say that it's amazing how the novels and the show and he was, that he was booked and "heroes for my daughter" and "heroes for my son," harry houdini is one of the heroes in tonight. is one of the heroes because when he was younger they said he lost his dad. they suggested take care of the family. this young guy, eric, his real name, and he should've worked in fact a. that was a safe job, but he did the most daring thing fall. he did what he loved. that's the lesson. do what you love. take that chance, find what you love and do. that's what he succeed. that was the great escape, escaping a symbol. when we do the opposite of houdini on decoded them we had
ending and we're riding the any of what happened and what he was killed or whether was a murder or not, but we couldn't summon the. then i went and grabbed my copy of "heroes for my son" and read that. so it's amazing how these things -- as a to the research with other topics together top as i want to look at, the are a bunch of want to look at. i never talked about the because the last time i did a history can won't let a student. and i thought i ruined it. but, of course, i love to always to jfk. i always would love, i think those would be a perfect episode. i will tie you this story on the. to me, to to jfk is only a. why do the? it's been in 50 million times. like you said, doing mount rushmore, showing people something they don't know about it. here's the great story i heard about jfk but after looking to put this is the one i want to start with. when you look at the book depositoryto minnesota while by this great a texas millionaire, and before he sold the building, he said pull out the window.
he said i want to win a. i want the window oswald was shooting out. get the window on the right. so they take the window out and he sells the building to another texas millionaire. who comes in and realizes that he said the winner on the right but he meant on the outside. he took the wrong window. so the second texas millionaire says go get the window, i want to win a. so the best part is the are two texas miners insist they have the wind. only in texas can something that anything happen. but i do want to know who has the right window. we know which is the winter, but who hasn't? there are other great stories people have sent me, and so those are the things i would love to tackle. we will see if we get the shot but it's been an amazing ride. yes, sir. [inaudible] >> i love all the books.
my favorite is identity crisis hero for d.c. comics. it still has an emotional impact. the one that hit me the hardest is when you see the shot of his eyes. the most depressing thing i've ever seen in my life. is there any pages you can't as you receiving -- [inaudible] wow, that sums up the entire book and that was something us going for? >> he's asking a question about identity crisis, a murder mystery starring superman, batman and wonder woman. he's asking what is the page you saw the blue me away. when you write a novel, it's your palate. about afford. one pound to paint with. you can do whatever you want and the editor keeps you from driving off a cliff. but pretty much is your palate. when you do a comic book, you get to write out a, but should be drawn.
you tell the artist that i can say you have to learn to shut up because you're another guy there helping you. a great artist, someone is drawing the hell out of. and you could sit down what i want to be closed up on superman on his face. hamilton, pulled in tight. no, panel three, pull in so tight you see a bead of sweat. i haven't said a single word but you now know that superman is nervous. if you're a real nerd like myself you know superman doesn't sweat. what i love that you get to do that. that was just a test for the i like the guy think i know superman does not sweat. issue 152 he does. but the red kryptonite reasons. [laughter] red kryptonite does exist by the ways. for those who say red kryptonite -- i know you're a nerd, too. what happens though is you write something and then you get the
art and it is so far better than you thought. he asked the question of which of the pages i came to me that blew me away. the one you mentioned with tim drake after he loses his father in batman. batman loses his parents. you know why i love batman. i lost both my parents. i love batman long before i lost them, but, of course, that hits home forward. the scene i wrote was when the new robin loses his father. for that first moment you realized in that moment that batman and robin, do not just superhumans and wear costumes that they have in common. but in this moment when batman sees robin was his father, they both have the most horrible thing in common, they are both orphans. that page was the page that blew me away. i actually own the page or. i bought it from the artist because that page just blew me away. my favorite page of our, one of my favorite pages of art is 18
shots of the justice league of america. it was a team shot anatole the artist, when you'd sell the page, he said -- i say when you sell this one page of this once i want to buy but he said absolutely. he calls me up one day. my cell phone rings. i didn't know, at a comeback in an hour too late and i say it's me. he says i sold a page for. i couldn't reach. webpage digital? that page of the team shot the i said i couldn't reach you for now and you sold the shop with he said some have one and i couldn't reach it so i sold. brad, that was my favorite page. he felt so terrible that he's a nice guy and were. i met, con in san diego. this guy comes up to me and the mistakes as as i've a page of art i would love you cell phone and he puts down my favorite page of all time. and i'm like,. [laughter] i just want to be like -- but i say to them, i said in a moment
and i looking and i say here's my phone number commitment in a. i want to buy it for me. i ask account so strong, like coming on to a girl at a bar. he runs away. he takes the art and he runs away and never calls me. never calls me again. but here's how life works. so now i'm at a bookstore in philadelphia. pennsylvania. the bookstore manager says brad, i hope you don't why but because you here and your science books, there's a little comic bookstore just a block away and i told him you're such a nice guy you would come. of course, i would go. i walk the block and a walk into the comics are in a me commend you and i say hello. he said can you sign a copy of your book lecture. he said with a customer here who told a story about you two years ago. he was at comicon and he is a piece of art of yours and you let us what you want to buy from you. that guy goes to this comic store? of all the comic source in all of america. my fellow nerd is here? and i say to them, here's my
phone number, here's my e-mail address. i'm not joking the isa given to them. a week later i get a focal and he and he says brad, he says, i've had this for two years now, and i don't know why but i feel like it's supposed to be yours. he sold back to me. my favorite page came right back to me. i owe him forever for the. the other one is the shot of -- a character in the book guys its are guessing. you write advancing in your head you want to be very emotional. but brad drew the heck out of. i remember seeing for the first time. it was a husband holding his dead wife. he do it like it was his dead wife. i look at page and i said oh, my gosh, we have a problem. this is going to really freak people out. it's going to be people in the way they, i hope as to the we are trying to do. here. i love the page. we sold. he sold it to me.
[laughter] that's true. last question and then we will sign some books. does anyone have a question? in the back. [inaudible] >> her husband is in the bathroom, so when he comes back with all say how was the bathroom? and there's him on national television. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> the question is, her husband for six years has been working on and wanted to be a writer. and wanted to write his book and what advice would you give input
also how to get to the end of the. to me, writing a book is like building a sand castle one grain at a time. you write chapter onecan have nothing to give a blank page. then you come in the next and you had three more pages. it's nothing. it's nothing. it's just two grains of sand next to each other. then you come back on wednesday and again, another grain. the thing is, is if you write a page a day every day you'll have a book. after a year you will have a book. it may not be a good. it may be a bad book. most it was a it's monday, i will write two pages on tuesday. vignette to three on wednesday. i think if i give you advice on how to finish it, you have to put a grain and every day. whenever my first book i wrote every day. i was working full-time, i have no money. i was paying off schools. i would come home and write from eight to 11 every night. i would write all these have become all day sunday but that's all i could.
because i really wanted to finish but i loved these imagined people i was talking to. but what i would to your husband, and this is to me to anyone who is writing or doing anything when they chase their drink, i get 24 rejection letters on my first book. it still sits on my shelf. it's still sitting there. i get 24 rejection letters. there were only 20 publishers at the time and i get 24 rejection letters. that means some people riding me twice to make sure i got the point. but i love this. if they don't like this book i write another. if you don't write this i will write another. what i would tell you husband and anybody out there listening to this, is i don't look back on the experience and say i was right and they were wrong. when i look back on as i wrote life is objected. it takes one person to say yes. one person to say yes can you publish a book. that's the only difference. it doesn't mean again i was right and they were wrong. it just means i didn't find the right person on the book at what i would tell them, it's a coal ship a true, whatever your dream is in your life, the only way
you find is to chase the what have you do with your life, whether you run a restaurant or a teacher or you stay at home, whatever it is you do, don't let anyone tell you know, ever. ever. that to me is the lesson for writing or for anything else but i think that's it, always. with that said i do want to also thank, this is national library week. i want to thank every librarian and every teacher. we always get them at every book signing. i know one light grain and teachers you. thank you for what you do. thank you for giving books to all of us. [applause] my 10 year old just give me the thumbs up to my four year old is still quite. i will take it as a sign from god. i want to thank you all for coming here tonight. i greatly appreciate it. [applause] >> one more big round of applause for brad meltzer.
[applause] now you can help us all. by wonder bread -- by wonder bread's books. we will all welcome brad as he takes off on his book tour and help propel this onto the bestseller list as we'll. so please, thank you all for coming. thanks c-span, and -- >> one more thing. the shirt i'm wearing says i am abraham lincoln. when i was shopping for closer my daughter, while i was writing this book and i was see all these things she was wearing and it was always princesses. i saw sports themes for my son. i decided this shirt for her, a little amelia earhart cartoon character. and i wrote i am amelia earhart on the bumper on the back i wrote i know no bounds. she loved it. my wife loved it.
we brought it to amelia earhart's estate and the letter. we did what of the seal ball. and muhammad ali, people that work with them, they love. and we launched a clothing line. tonight you can see the church, you can buy the shares if you like to share but if you go to the ordinary people change the world.com, you will see my true motto in life. i don't care, i believe in order people in the ordinary ability to change this will. if i can let people wear these reviewers, that's great. the best part is 10% goes to charity and you pick the charity. we are working with us this -- one of the greatest organizations anywhere. i feel terrible i forgot to mention them. to make a wish foundation did you vote whether proceeds go. i appreciate you helping out these organizations. so thank you very much again. [applause] >> for more information visit
the author's website, bradmeltzer.com. >> i'm going to tell you asay. personal story today, and it's u something that i know i don't do, but this is a story in largi part what motivated me to write a second book, "what it's like to go toto war." s one the things i talk about in that second book is that our culture has basic we got in somo kind of an agreement o'clock i called sort of the code of silence about what really goes on in combat.bo what really goes on when oures n nation ask our kids to go and kill some of the kids.our kids i'm no pacifist, i think that wt tend of sort of not want to aink about it very much. angina, my gun is the same as all families.in m i was 50 years old when i founds out that my father had fought in
the battle of the bulge. data, you know, wasn't that a big deal? well, you never asked me. i get all kinds of stories aboul when they get drunk and kin normative, that sort of stuff.ds what it is that our culture is very good on, don't whine. you don't want.d out and you don't brag. you don't brag. welcome any combat veteran with a that 95% of the time it's do o things to whine and complainne about, and about 4% of the time it's things you want to bragai g about. that doesn't leave you very much to talk about in this culture. so one of the things that i was hoping to do with his book is start breaking that down a little bit. a little personal history so, you know, i grew up in this vera small town in oregon, a logging town called seaside, oregon. b and back when i grew up, i think virtually all the fathers had been in world war ii.
and we called it a service pack and. that was when your uncle was back in the service. was i our ink again our culture is tharting to make a change. i don't hear the service anymore. i get a called the military ando i think that's an interesting switch in language that was happening s happening. that we should think about. i got a scholarship to yale and blasted out of the county and joined the marines because that was the thing to do. guys on my high school football team joined the marines. i joined the plc program which is a sort of marine rotc. you get run through boot camp in the summer and people who survive go to college as reservists. you don't get paid but you get to be a marine. sounds like a good deal. we don't have to wear uniforms or march around during college.
i got the road scholarship and thought i wouldn't be able to go. i wrote a letter to the marine corps and they said that is fine. take it. i was there about six weeks and started to feel really guilty because the guys are served with and kids from my own high school had been over there and lost five boys from my high school in vietnam and there i am drinking beer and having a wonderful time feeling iowa's hiding. i went to the war and ended up in the fourth marines and we were stationed in the jungle in the mountains and the ocean border. and eventually the executive, and finally after i got shot a couple times. and how can you get aaron
metals. i wrote this book "what it is like to go to war" for several reasons. the audience was young people who were considering making the military career. i wanted to reach them. i don't want any romantics joining the united states military or the armed forces. i want to join with clear heads and clear eyes about what they're getting into. i wrote it for veterans because i have struggled with a lot of things. if aiken struggle with these things and get some clarity to someone reading it, might be helped by it. i also wanted to write it for the general public and particularly policymakers. is important that we understand that we are involved very deeply in our wars and we tend to think we are not. i opened the book with a quote
from bismarck. one of my favorite quotes. bismarck said any fool can learn from their own mistakes. i prefer to learn from other people's mistakes. i thought if i can put some mistakes down that i learned the hard way maybe someone else could do it. here is where i launch into this story. we were on an assault and going up a very steep hill and by this time it had broken down into chaos. as anybody will tell u.s. and as the first shot is fired, the way it gets done is individuals 18 and 19-year-old marine's figure out how to get there and and that is how it really works. two hand grenades came flying off of the top of the hill and exploded and are got knocked unconscious and when i came to, sort of a mess but still functioning. we through two grenades back and
two more grenades came flying from the top and we were scrambling up hill to get under them so they went below us. we through two back and, karl marlantes figured that we only have two grenade back. i told the two guys who were with me next time you throw grenades are am going to be around the side and in a position to shoot you guys when they have to stand up to throw their grenades at us. i worked my way around the side of the hill. i could see one of the soldiers was already dead. the other one just like us was a kid, late teens. he rose to throw the grenade and our eyes locked. this is a very unusual thing in combat. generally don't ever lock eyes with people you are about to kill and he was no further away than the third or fourth row.
i was waiting for him and i remember whispering, wishing i could speak i won't throw the trigger. if you don't throw it i won't pull the trigger. i pulled the trigger. i remember being slightly chagrined because i anticipated the recoil on the rifle. drill sergeant kick you in the rear end for doing what they call blocking your shot and it hit the dirt slightly in front of the guy. and the battle still going on. about ten years later i was in one of these california groups they had. remember the california stuff about getting in touch with your feelings and no one had heard of
pg s t. totally unaware of it. i was the typical sort of guy trying to -- my wife had brought me there. finally the leader turns on me and says i understand you were in the vietnam war. she said how do you feel about that? i said -- a typical answer. she said why don't we start talking about it? she asked me to apologize to a kid that are shot. i am game. i said i will do that. i start to think about that kid. that kid had a mother and sister or whatever and i started to cry and i started to ball. i started crying so hard that my ribs ached. i couldn't stop for three days. literally three days i couldn't stop crying. i go to work and have to suck it
up. folks start to talk to me had to leave and go outside and walk around. i managed to shove that down again and deal with this. i got five kids to raise. everything is cool again. 1990 i am driving down i 5 at 2:00 in the morning and this is a wonderful -- you are all by yourself, the dashboard in front of you and country music, radio and no one can touch you at your doing something and it is time -- two eyes appeared on the windshield in front of me. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> is a booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title in the search bar in the upperl